Energy & Environment – EPA draft says formaldehyde causes cancer – Advice Eating

A long-awaited EPA draft assessment says inhaling the chemical formaldehyde causes cancer, while a new lawsuit claims 34 states are failing to comply with air pollution regulations.

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Industrial chemical linked to head and neck cancer

breathe in formaldehyde — a common industrial chemical — can cause several cancers of the head, neck and blood, according to a draft assessment from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released Thursday.

The agency’s latest draft assessment says that inhalation of formaldehyde causes nasopharyngeal cancer, affecting the head and neck; sinus cancer, affecting the nasal cavity or sinuses; and myeloid leukemia, which affects bone marrow and blood cells.

The draft goes beyond an earlier regulatory finding that said the substance was a “probable human carcinogen.”

Formaldehyde is found in wood products, building materials, housing insulation, and household products such as adhesives, permanent press fabrics, and paints.

Some political background history: Thursday’s draft release comes after reports that the EPA suppressed a finding that formaldehyde causes leukemia under the previous Trump administration.

Politico reported in 2018 that senior advisers to then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt delayed the report’s release in order to undermine the EPA’s research into the risks of toxic chemicals. At the time, the agency denied the results were being held up.

Allegations related to the agency’s handling of formaldehyde and other chemicals led to subpoenas from the House of Representatives in 2019.

This isn’t the first time the EPA has listed formaldehyde as a carcinogen in a draft. That finding was previously revealed in a 2010 replay of the EPA review reviewed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, but ultimately never completed.

So what does this design do? When completed, the finding, released Thursday, is expected to allow the EPA to conduct tighter controls on the substance.

“I’m very excited about this IRIS assessment of formaldehyde — we’ve known for years that formaldehyde is a human carcinogen,” Linda Birnbaum, former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, told The Hill.

“Hopefully this will finally lead to better regulation,” Birnbaum added.

Read more about the draft assessment here.

34 states fail to comply with Air Pollution Directive: lawsuit

Four environmental organizations filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday, alleging it failed to properly enforce the Clean Air Act’s regional haze rule.

The EPA changed the rule in 2017, extending the window for states to submit plans to reduce air pollution through July 2021. However, as of April 2022, 34 states have not submitted their plans, according to the lawsuit.

Under the rule, all states are required to develop regional haze plans to prevent air pollution that affects visibility in national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and other wilderness areas. Under the text of the rule, EPA must issue a finding of non-filing to states within six months of the deadline, which would have been January 31 of this year.

The lawsuit asks EPA Administrator Michael Regan to enforce the 34-state rule immediately. Earlier this month, the agency announced its intention to establish non-filing for certain states by August 31. However, this announcement “is effectively extended[ed] of the deadline” and was not legally binding, according to the lawsuit.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the Center for Biological Diversity, the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Sierra Club.

Read more about her lawsuit here.

US EMISSIONS DOWN 11 PERCENT IN 2020

U.S. emissions of warming gases fell 11 percent in 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Thursday, attributing the decline largely to the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency said the drop in emissions since 2019 was mainly due to an 11 percent drop in carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. That drop, in turn, was caused by a 13 percent drop in transport emissions “due to reduced demand from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Emissions from electric power also fell 10 percent, which the agency said was due to both a “slight” drop in demand due to the pandemic and a shift away from coal and towards natural gas and renewable energy.

Emissions were 21 percent below 2005 levels. The Obama and Biden administrations used 2005 as the reference year for setting their climate targets and committed to cutting emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030, respectively.

WHAT WE READ

  • Europe reluctantly preparing Russian oil embargo (The New York Times)
  • Legal clinic “Rights of Nature” faces allegations of transphobia (E&E News)
  • Mighty ‘rivers in the sky’ could collapse Antarctic Peninsula’s largest ice shelf (CNN)
  • Climate, environment shape the life decisions of Generation Z (Axios)
  • EPA rejects Utah’s claim that its ozone pollution originated in Asia (Salt Lake Tribune)

ICYMI

And finally, something fancy and offbeat: Kitschy.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Visit The Hill’s energy and environment page for the latest news and reports. we will see you tomorrow

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